9002 Chapter 2 of: “Twinergy and the boys of Clear Lake!”

 

Now back to ground zero, or at least the time the bell had rang me outta “the zone” that I had been in at the end of the day in Mr. Weiners class. I was the last to leave the class, and walked by his desk to wish him a great summer. He sat there with his eyes closed not knowing I was even there. It looked like he had shed a tear.

“Mr. Weiner”!

I said again, “Mr. Weiner”, a little bit louder! This time he opened his eyes and tried to focus on what was in front of him. “I just wanted to wish you a great summer, and thank you for being such a great teacher this year…..are you alright?”

He perked up a little and said “Nika, its you. Thank you, but we both know that I haven’t been that great a teacher to you kids.”

I said, “Are you kidding, we all love you.”

“Because I don’t get on you guys and demand a lot of work doesn’t make me a great teacher Nika.”

I looked at him and could see that he had all but given up. I said “Mr. Weiner, sometimes there’s more to a teacher than homework and lectures. More of us kids come to you with our problems than the school counselor. And you have never turned anyone away. Maybe if you look at it like that, it balances out for whatever shortcomings you feel you have in other areas. And besides, all kids feel they need to have an ally at school, and on behalf of all of us, you are it.”

He looked at my for a minute without saying a word, and this time there was a tear in his eye. “Nika, Nika, Nika, you always have a way of cheering me up at the end of the day whenever I’m not in a good place. When I know I have to go home to my empty house. You remind me of my Trevor sometimes.”

“Thank you Mr. Weiner, but I see all your past students who come week in and week out to see you, and I feel you have to be something special for them to feel that way. And that goes for the rest of us as well. And who is Trevor Sir?”

“Trevor was my son Nika, who I lost long ago. The way you smile Nika, it brings him back to me sometimes. Even if just for a brief few seconds. He also had blonde locks, blue eyes, and that magical smile you flash when you’re happy.”

“I’m sorry Mr. Weiner, I heard rumors you had a son, but wasn’t sure.”

“Well, its true Nika, Marge and I lost our boy a good five or so years before you were born, and I lost my Margie a few years after that. She was never the same after we got the word on our boy. Now going home every night to that empty house is so painful. Sometimes I walk in and can hear my son running around the corner of the hallway on his little wooden pony wearing his cowboy hat, and smell Margie’s Roast and biscuits in the oven. Then it all fades away and I realize that was all over long ago, and it’s just me standing there by myself.”

“I’m sorry Mr. Weiner.” 

“That’s why I’m still teaching Nika, its not for the money. It’s so I have a purpose to my life. Without all of you, I would be a prisoner to that old house and those old memories all day, every day. And Nika, our grand ol home has faded in every way since my Margie’s been gone. The paint is peeling, the carpet worn, and the lawn, vegetation, and tree’s are all overgrown. I lost the will to restore the old house long ago.”

“Well Mr. Weiner, We’ll all be back for 8th grade next year, and you’ll have a brand new batch of 7th graders to tame…huh? That should cheer you up a little…right?”

“I’m afraid not Nika, this is the end of the line for me. The school board has extended my tenure and given me a reprieve on mandatory retirement for quite some time because of the lack of teachers in this part of the state. But that is not the case anymore, as there are qualified youngsters to fill the openings and begin their cycle in the educational process. The board let me know at the beginning of this last quarter that today would be my last day.”

“But Mr. Weiner, you never told anyone, no one knew. We would have sent you off with a party and celebration, its not right for you to have to leave like this.”

“Its ok Nika, it’s how I wanted it. I don’t think I could have handled a gathering on my behalf emotionally. Besides, it’s less painful this way.”

I understand how he felt, and I felt helpless, angry, and betrayed by the school board. And I didn’t know what to do. I did sense that if he went back to that house, it would be to die. I don’t mean anything self inflicted, just alone with no purpose in life. And all those memories of friends and family all long gone, eating away at him. I had just began to tear up and was about to lose it and give this grandfather I never had a bear hug, when a thought flashed through my head.

“Hey Mr. Weiner, do you think since you have no plans over the summer (at least that was my impression) that we could help each other out?”

“What are you talking about Nika?”

“Well, I have a lot of time over the summer and need to get a job to occupy some of that time. And you sound like you need a renovation on your yard and house….right?”

“Well, yes.”

And unlike my friend Cody, my grades aren’t straight A’s. I barley get by in some subjects, and I’m not alone.”

“What are you trying to say Nika?”

“We’ll, the way I see it, we both could use some help. I need a job (according to my mom and dad anyway, not for the money). And in a way, so do you. If you would hire me to work on your house and yard over the summer, I guarantee my parents would in turn hire you to tutor me, and pay quite well also. And I also guarantee there’s a lot more of me where I came from. There’s a bunch of us whose parents are looking for a qualified tutor, and many worse off than me who have to go to summer school.”

Mr. Weiner: “I see.”

“Up till now the trend is to pay our lazy older sisters and brothers to help us, and they just don’t cut it. With your permission, Ill get Becky Slater to put an announcement on the school website. And I’m sure Principle Skinner won’t mind, he likes you a lot. We’ll create a schedule for times that are good for you, and the courses and subjects needed, and you can tutor us right from your home. What do you say?”

Mr. Weiner was silent for a good awkward couple of minutes, with a blank expression. And for a minute I thought he was gonna tear up again. Or maybe even become angry that I was meddling in his affairs, and possibly lash out at me (nahh, not Mr. Weiner). But then, a broad, wonderful smile came across his face, like I remember at the start of the school year when he was fresh back from his “lonely” summer. He looked at me and said, “You would do that for me Trevor?”

I smiled and let out a little laugh, and said, “It’s me Nika, Mr. Weiner, but you bet I would. And I guarantee everyone else will too. When they hear of what the board did, and that you are available to educate the slacker masses (my lazy friends and co-students), you’ll be busy enough to keep things together, and doing the community a great service. And it’s not just summer work Mr. Weiner, tutoring is an all year job.”

After a moment to think it over, he blurted out, “Well all right then, lets give it a go.”

I gave him my parents phone number and e-mail address and told him to give them a call tomorrow after I have a chance to talk to them, and asked when I could start earning money working on his house and yard. After all I was saving for a new wakeboard.

He said just as soon as my parents say it’s ok. Just before I left I felt kinda bad, and Mr. Weiner saw that and asked what was wrong.

I told him that it was important for me to help him and it wasn’t just about a new wake board.

He smiled, laughed, and said he knew that, and it meant a lot to him too. With that said, he ruffled my hair and said, “You need a haircut you little hippie,” and gave me a push for the door.

I said, “hippie? Wow, all this good news, and you regress to the 60’s on me!” And with that I was out the door.

7 Responses to “9002 Chapter 2 of: “Twinergy and the boys of Clear Lake!””

  1. extremeadven Says:

    I like how you’ve introduced these characters with the little stories to tell about their personalities and how they interact. You did a nice job with that. I never like too many characters being introduced right at the beginning of a book. I find it difficult to keep track of who is who. I personally prefer to have them introduced as they come into the story line. My sister published a book and she introduced a lot of the characters early on. By the time you got to that characters part in the story you had forgotten who that person was. Another thing she did early in here book was to put so much detail in that it took away from the story line. Sometimes its better to leave out some of the detail and let the reader create some of the picture in their own mind. Overall, I liked it alot. Looking forward to another chapter.

    Marc

  2. codyboarder Says:

    thanks marc,

    i feel character development is vital to emotonal writing. i like to give the characters personalities and physical descriptions so the reader can link them to maybe someone they once knew or know now. if you can achieve that, then the reader can enjoy the story much more.

    cody!

  3. dru Says:

    getting interesting bit concerned about whats going to happen with mr weiner but am sure things will work out for the best

  4. codyboarder Says:

    mr weiner will be a recurring character.

  5. bobby Says:

    love the storyline

  6. Uncle Says:

    Hah! That was great! (Chapter 2). I appreciate the way you dig into the unsaid emotions of a significant world of loneliness and then give light to how others can also do the same. Good work! Just check spelling and punctuation, but hey, you got such a beautiful point across to a fellow hippie (me) in a most uncanny way. Keep up the great work!

  7. Hermes Says:

    Cody, you did it again. This was another great chapter, I can tell I’m going to enjoy this story immensely. It was refreshing seeing a younger person thinking of someone other than himself, but, Nika came off that way from the beginning.

    Mr. Weiner, I am sure, will continue to be a powerful role model for them. And, let’s face it, having a gaggle of giggling young people around will do him good.

    Thanks for another great chapter, but if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a date with Chapter 3.

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